April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

- Charles Ruhmann

Spring is finally in full swing. Teenagers are gearing up for prom and graduation season, while adults are planning for warm weather vacations. It is during this time of year that motorists all over the nation flood roadways as they travel for business reasons, personal reasons and increasingly for good, old-fashioned fun. Unfortunately, the downside of more travelers on highways and surface streets tends to be an increased risk of car accidents.

One would think that inclement weather inspires the highest rate of car accidents. However, great weather often results in a high risk of accidents. During beautiful weather conditions, many motorists take their travel conditions for granted. They choose to engage in distracting activities because they mistakenly believe that it is safer to be distracted when roads are clear and the sky is blue. However, distracted driving is always hazardous and taking good driving conditions for granted is an absolute no-no.

Partially in recognition of the fact that more motorists travel American roadways in the spring than in the winter and in recognition of the fact that Americans tend to drive while distracted when conditions are favorable, the National Safety Council has designated April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

Please take some time this month to examine your own driving habits and to talk to your loved ones about theirs. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 3,300 individuals were killed in distracted driving accidents on American roads during 2013 alone. Please, do not use the arrival of spring as an excuse to drive while distracted. Use it as an excuse to commit to attentive driving habits on a daily basis.

Source: Star Tribune, “The Drive: Distracted driving has become an epidemic,” Tim Harlow, April 13, 2014